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Tokyo (AFP) June 26, 2013
Troubled Japanese electronics giant Sharp Corp is to produce cutting-edge LCD panels for smartphones in a Chinese joint venture from as early as 2015, a report said Wednesday.
Sharp will provide its prized IGZO panel technology to a new Nanjing factory being built by local giant Nanjing China Electronics Panda Group, the Nikkei newspaper said.
Sharp will receive tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) in licensing fees for sharing its energy-efficient and high-quality IGZO, the newspaper said.
Some of the funds would go towards acquiring a nearly 10 percent stake in the plant operator, it said.
The factory will be able to churn out the equivalent of five million panels for 10-inch tablet computers per month, the Nikkei said.
Sharp will obtain the right to purchase up to half the output, it said.
The deal marks a shift from closely guarding its technologies by handling everything from development to production in-house, the Nikkei said.
Sharp has been going through a massive restructuring programme to rebuild itself, as it continues to suffer huge losses that have threatened its survival.
Along with job and salary cuts, the company has also inked capital tie-up deals with foreign firms including South Korea's Samsung Electronics and US-based Qualcomm.
Sharp declined to comment on the report.
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